My japanese to do list

Hello summer is coming and that means vacation.
I have a lot of time to learn Japanese.
My goal is to be good in speak and understanding Japanese.
This is my plan:
I will use wanikani for: kanji and vocubalary
Memrise I found a tea kim guide that I follow for grammar.
Genki: thinking about to getting this book what do you think.
Give me your oponion about what i should add or get for daily practise

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Frankly speaking, there are no good textbooks or lessons for Japanese in English. None. Not Tae Kim, not Genki, nothing. Every single one of them completely misunderstands the Japanese grammar, making it ten times more difficult than it actually is. So, if you can avoid English books, avoid them. The same goes for dictionaries — even if they have a lot of words and phrases, the English ones are really bad and give tons of wrong and misleading meanings.

You can find Genki online for free (cough cough), look through it before you buy it. It’s bad at teaching grammar, for example it teaches compound verbforms before the original uncompounded forms, it can’t even explain words like “becomes tired” and “makes tired” in a clear way, and for some reason it teaches a lot of useless vocabulary first. But, people all around the world use it to learn Japanese in university so if you’re planning on taking a course, they might use it. My school here in Sweden uses it.

I think it’s good to have a word-replacement tool, and replace words with single kanji to teach you the meanings. You can then use it online or when reading e-books. For example, “I went to buy a cat” becomes "私 went to 買 a 猫”. However English is a really, really bad language to do this with as words have too many different meanings (so I use another language instead).

You can try going to these sites:
A summary of the most useful grammar, originally meant for people who are just planning on living in/visiting Japan without preparing beforehand.
A grammar site

Old books you can download/read online for free, that usually teach japanese better than modern books do. There’s one reading exercise book that’s really good (its grammar explanations aren’t good, but the reading practise is super good).
Kanji meaning website. Since it’s meant for Chinese, sometimes it only works with the old form of the kanji.
A japanese kanji meaning site. if you use something like rikaichan and learn some basic grammar, you can make sense of this site, and it can help a lot on learning the kanji meanings.
The easiest japanese reading practise i’ve ever found. you may need to change your browser’s encoding settings to Japanese to get the hiragana / katakana to display.


I think I just stick to the memrise guide.
The layout is realy boring to read.
But I think it is usefull.
Thats why I’m always confused, what to follow, what to do, what to study and at the end I lose motivation and quit.

Here’s my Suggested Guide for Japanese Literacy courses that includes Tae Kim. I think these courses are great for a self study type person.

Although I did all of these materials 7 years ago, I’ve been going through them again both as a refresher and quality control check. I’m impressed with the grammar courses as user ijklp kindly offered up male and female text to speech audio for all the grammar sentences which makes those course much more fun to learn.

Also, by the time I’m done, courses all the way to advanced (N1 level equivalent) will be available.

You don’t need to follow anything. 90% of the time lessons, books and courses don’t even teach the most useful things first. You can even just learn by getting a comic or magazine and looking everything up.

The real reason why you’re losing motivation is because the lessons/wordlists you’re using are bad. If you have good lessons, you’ll immediately see results, you’ll progress extremely fast. If you don’t see results, you feel like you’re getting nowhere and then you quit.

In one month you can learn ALL of Japanese grammar, if you have good lessons. In a few months, or even one month if you work hard, you can learn the meaning of every kanji (that normal people know; this is seemingly less than the 2.000-something they’re taught in school, or at least not all those kanji are included). In another year or less you can learn the pronunciations of all of those kanji (if you read comics after you learn the kanji meaning, it comes naturally).

After you understand how kanji words are formed (ex. which kinds of things are abbreviated in a compound word), there’s very few words that don’t make literal sense, so you just study those few words. Already knowing the kanji meanings before the pronunciations is part of why Chinese people learn Japanese 3x faster than other people (supposedly).

So, my advice: learn basic grammar from SOMEWHERE. You want to know の (short for もの) な に て で (にて put together)と (short for とき)も こと し, basic verbforms (present tense, past tense, commands, invitation/assumption form). The verbs you absolutely have to know are ない たい ある いる ます やる する(じる、す、ず endings on verbs are just different forms of する) くる いる みる (means “see, look” as well as “seem to be, test out”) くれる あげる ください (these last three mean like “do it for me! i’ll do it for you!”). I may have forgotten some.

Then immediately start working on kanji meanings. Like I said, if you actually want to learn fast, ignore the pronunciations until after you’ve learnt all the meanings of the kanji. Trust me, I’ve tested it both ways (learning them at the same time and learning pronunciation afterwards).

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for non-English natives, the Tae Kim is rather boring and confusing…

You are totally right my friend, but still I need to start somewhere on this boring guides where 90% is shit.
Other resources without good layouts are so boring to read that I just feel like quitting that page and go do something else.
And yes I like it fast if I could I would even spend 10 hours a day practicing that grammar but I just don’t have any teacher like you said to make me learn it in a month.
and this guides are eating my motivation I can only look at it for a half hour and I get bored.(Urghh…)

No, if you need to spend that long to learn it then you’re using horrible lessons and you need to find better ones. Japanese grammar is so simple, with the right explanations, it only takes a couple example sentences until you understand it. If you can’t find the right explanations, just skip it and go learn something else and the other grammar will fall into place naturally at some point later.

The problem with all modern English lessons is they assume Japanese works just like English, and no one writing those lessons has any clue about any languages other than Japanese and English. Even Japanese people writing lessons make the same mistakes because 1. they were taught to teach Japanese to foreigners in this way, 2. they don’t think about how their language actually works and they don’t know English well enough to be as flexible with it as they have to be in order to teach Japanese well. No language on Earth works just like English, but seemingly everything written by English-speakers for some reason assumes that fact (yes, I have studied a lot of different languages).

That’s why I recommend to use older textbooks like what I linked to above, especially the ones that teach a “historical grammar of Japanese”, because the people writing those actually did know Chinese, German, ancient Japanese, Latin, French etc so they’re usually much better at teaching, or at least they state plainly what everything means and show examples and you can figure it out yourself. That’s how they fit Japanese grammar and vocabulary into 1 book when modern books take 3.

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As Tae Kim is released under Creative Commons license, the lessons have been translated into other languages. If you find a set in your native language, that is encouraged to be used instead. In addition, find a spreadsheet that has the native language and upload it as a course.

Mind you, I don’t know if how he presents the material is that interesting in the translated version.

Well I came to a understanding that you like to go the raw way.
all this modern wisely people tried to put everything in a good and beautiful package, but that this Japanese learning package is 90% full of shit.

So you recommend going to old and raw way because this provides the things you really need to know and skips all this headache motivation killing materials, that will not teach you anything.
I will see what I can do…

+1 on the Quick and Dirty Guide. There are some other useful resources on that site too. As for Genki and TKG being bad. Well, I think people have their own preferences so maybe they would indeed benefit more using something else, or perhaps jumping straight into a site like LingQ and just learning native material from day 1. In the end though as long as you’re making substantial progress you’re happy with who cares what is the best/worst, just keep using what works.